Five spring beers to try

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  • Photograph: Grant Asken

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    Aprihop (Dogfish Head)
    This annual favorite from Delaware's Dogfish Head brewery is a call to arms for other fruit beers. While many varieties are syrupy-sweet, the exceptionally balanced IPA leads with bold, citrusy hops, allowing the sweetness from fresh apricots used in the brewing process to play a lingering background note. Available at Brooklyn Beer & Soda, 648 Washington Ave between Bergen St and Dean St, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-622-8800). Four-pack $12.99.

  • Photograph: Grant Asken

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    Biere de Mars (Southampton Publick House)
    Long Island brewer Phil Markowski nods to France with this Biere de Mars ("March Beer"), a Gallic style historically made in winter with the best malt and hops from the previous fall's harvest. For his interpretation, Markowski blends wheat and barley malts to produce a satisfying dryness, then ramps up the flavor with European hops and generous spicing. The brew starts out smooth and easygoing before giving way to a complex finish, bursting with fresh pear, white pepper and dried fruits. Available at Cafe D'Alsace. 1695 Second Ave at 88th St (212-722-5133). Draft $7.

  • Photograph: Grant Asken

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    Der Weisse Bock (Mahr's)
    For a true taste of German tradition, reach for a fortifying doppelbock, a strong brew that abbey monks drank during Lent to sustain them through their fasting (hence the nickname "liquid bread"). With more than 300 years of beer-making experience, Bamberg's Mahr's brewery offers this standard-bearer in the category, a deep-mahogany pour that smells like a slice of banana bread. At 7.2 percent ABV, it's hefty without being boozy; instead, the alcohol provides a warming undercurrent to rich notes of fruit and spice. Available at Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room, 95 E Houston St between Bowery and Chrystie St (212-420-1320). 500ml bottle $4.99.

  • Photograph: Grant Asken

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    Glissade Golden Bock (Sierra Nevada)
    Craft-beer pioneer Sierra Nevada sets out to bottle the fleeting moment between winter and spring with this sessionworthy seasonal. The accessible bock is an ideal beer for windbreaker weather---a toasty malt backbone gives it fireside appeal, while lagerlike crispness and grassy hops evoke the sunnier days ahead. Available at Hop Devil Grill, 129 St. Marks Pl at Ave A (212-533-4468). Draft $6.

  • Photograph: Grant Asken

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    Saison de Lente (the Bruery)
    Fans of the Bruery's spicy Saison Rue can toast warmer weather with a lighter take on the French-inspired farmhouse ale. Bitter hoppiness combines with a funky tartness to form a beguiling one-two punch. But the Lenten sipper never becomes overwhelming, thanks to bubbly crispness and refreshing hints of apricot. Available at New Beer Distributors. 167 Chrystie St between Delancey and Rivington Sts (212-473-8757). 750ml bottle $9.99.

Photograph: Grant Asken

beerbottles80566

Aprihop (Dogfish Head)
This annual favorite from Delaware's Dogfish Head brewery is a call to arms for other fruit beers. While many varieties are syrupy-sweet, the exceptionally balanced IPA leads with bold, citrusy hops, allowing the sweetness from fresh apricots used in the brewing process to play a lingering background note. Available at Brooklyn Beer & Soda, 648 Washington Ave between Bergen St and Dean St, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-622-8800). Four-pack $12.99.

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